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Ukraine: Economic Issues Of Transition States Dominates EBRD

Kyiv, 10 May 1998 (RFE/RL) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's board meeting in Kyiv today led to the airing of many themes of economic importance to transition states.

Among speeches by various officials were positive assessments of Ukrainian and Russian financial developments. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tyhypko said his country's reforms are moving in the right direction, even if they are slow. He said all sectors of the economy are open, and there are no limits on foreign ownership of local firms.

Russian central bank chief Sergei Dubinin said reforms have made Russia's bank sector stronger than at any time since the dissolution of the USSR. He said the number of banks has been greatly cut, and most of those remaining are solid. He pledged the central bank will strengthen its supervisory role. Dubinin today met Ukrainian Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko to discuss banking cooperation.

The Kyiv meeting also brought news of Central Asian developments. Officials from Kazakhstan said their country will soon resume privatisation of two big oil companies. And an EBRD report said a proposed Turkmenistan-to-Turkey pipeline looks more likely to gain financing because of lessening U.S. resistance to the pipeline crossing Iran.